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-   -   The Great Thinkers Sail the Wonder - April 15 - 19, 2007 (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1430554)

jrose529 04-23-2007 12:50 AM

The Great Thinkers Sail the Wonder - April 15 - 19, 2007
 
I returned last night (actually very early this morning) from our 4 days on the Wonder and 3 days at WDW. I began my trip report before I left, but decided to post it when I returned. I took notes throughout the trip, but have yet to type them. I'll begin with my first chapter now. I hope you enjoy it...

Chapter 1 Ė Prologue, or Great Minds Think AlikeÖ

Well, I decided to begin my trip report before we leave for our April 15, four day Wonder cruise. I just want to warn you that I am very verbose, so this will probably be a very long TR, sorry!:rolleyes1 It also wonít be nearly as humorous as the many classic trippies on this board. I plan to take notes while onboard. At least that is the plan! I will be waiting up for DD every night, so this will fill my time.:thumbsup2 DH will fall asleep well before she returns.

This trip has been in the planning stages since August, 2006. DD (Amy Ė 18) will be graduating from high school and heading off to Indiana University this August, so we decided to celebrate with a cruise and a trip to WDW. We will also be celebrating DDís 18th birthday which was in March, and my 50th birthday in May. Here is our cast of characters:

Me Ė Judy
DH Ė Steve
DD Ė Amy (18)
DDís best friend (Katie Ė 18) and her family


We are DVC owners, so we decided to cruise with our points. I wanted a verandah room, so I only had enough points for a 4 day cruise. I decided to book one of the secret verandah rooms Ė SR #7620. I was so excited that it was available! :cheer2:

We cruised on the Magic when DD was 15 and now weíll experience the Wonder!:banana: DD also wanted a few days in WDW, so we are spending 2 nights at OKW after the cruise. Unfortunately, DS (23) canít join us on this trip. Heís in grad school and doesnít have the time.

After spending way too many hours on these boards and meeting so may wonderful DIS members, I decided to put together a DIS meet booklet so we can keep in touch during and after the trip. I also had fun making lime green Mickey head magnets for everyone.
http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m...ymagnets-1.jpg
That is going to be a surprise at our 3:00 DIS meet in the Promenade Lounge. We have 75 people in our DIS group! DH and DD tease me all the time about my DIS obsession!:confused3

Since so many of the DIS members on our cruise will be staying at WDW for at least 2 nights or more after the cruise, we decided to name our group The Great Thinkers. You know, great minds think alike! We found that the more we got to know one another, the more we had similar plans for this trip, hence, The Great Thinkers moniker. :goodvibes

Next up: We live in CT, so why are we are flying out of Newark, NJ?

LITTLEKID58 04-23-2007 02:34 AM

Subscribing... TFS

jrose529 04-23-2007 10:00 AM

Chapter 2 - We live in CT, so why are we are flying out of Newark, NJ?

Our cast of characters:

Me Ė Judy
DH Ė Steve
DD Ė Amy (18)
DDBFF - DDís best friend Katie (18)
BFFM - best friendís mother Chris
BFFD - best friendís dad Mark
BFFS1 - best friendís 16 year old sister Lauren
BFFS2 - best friendís 5 year old sister Erin


Saturday, April 14, 2006. Our flight is scheduled to leave at 6:05 PM. I really didnít want such a late flight, but the fares were so high when I needed to book. DH wanted to keep our costs down, so I began to spend my every waking moment on line, checking fares at every possible airport.:surfweb: He kept telling me that the fares would drop, and I foolishly listened to him! Our friends were able to get a decent flight out of LGA, but by the time I decided that I could wait no longer, the least expensive flight was on Continental out of Newark at 6:05 PM on April 14. We live in Fairfield County (Not the high rent district!), so the distance to Newark is not much farther than to LGA, JFK or Bradley. I would have liked an earlier flight so we could spend some time in Port Canaveral, but that was not to be.

We decided to stay the night before the cruise at the Residence Inn in PC. We were scheduled to land in MCO at 9:10 PM, so we wouldnít get to the port until nearly 11:00. Weíve had trouble in the past with Budget and National, so we reserved a car from Hertz for a one way, one day rental. We will be taking the DCL bus to OKW after the cruise and Disneyís Magical Express to MCO on Saturday, April 21.

The trip down was rather bumpy, but we were happy with our choice to fly on Continental. We arrived on time and took the shuttle to Hertz. We arrived at the Residence Inn at midnight. The room was a nice size. They gave us a handicapped room, so I donít know if it was larger than a normal 1 bedroom suite. There were a lot of small caterpillars in the lobby area by the doors,:eek: but thankfully, the room was very clean and caterpillar free. I asked about this and they said they were having trouble keeping them out of the lobby.:scared: The breakfast buffet that was included in the price of the room was not to my liking, but it was okay. I donít like scrambled eggs and the waffles were terrible. Overall, the hotel was fine, but Iím not sure Iíd stay there again. It was very close to the port, so that was nice and I loved the large suite, but I think next time Iíll try somewhere else.

We left for the port at 10:30 and DH dropped us off about 5 minutes later. It was extremely windy when we left the hotel and we heard on the radio that there was a tornado watch!:scared1: We were really worried. The rain began while we were in the car.


Next up: Time to Sail Away With Mickey and the Great Thinkers. Will it be a soggy ride?

Babs417 04-23-2007 10:17 AM

We love long trip reports:thumbsup2 :goodvibes ;) :) :cutie: Just keep it comming:cool2:

haywardranch 04-23-2007 11:01 AM

Hi Judy,

Looking forward to reading your trip report!!! Thank you so much for getting everyone together, you did a great job and we proudly displayed our Great Thinkers magnet on our door. It was a pleasure to meet you.:hippie:

jrose529 04-23-2007 11:05 AM

Chapter 3: Time to Sail Away With Mickey and the Great Thinkers. Will it be a soggy ride?

Our cast of characters:

Me Ė Judy
DH Ė Steve
DD Ė Amy (18)
DDBFF - DDís best friend Katie (18)
BFFM - best friendís mother Chris
BFFD - best friendís dad Mark
BFFS1 - best friendís 16 year old sister Lauren
BFFS2 - best friendís 5 year old sister Erin


It was just drizzling when we arrived at the port. DH unloaded our 6 bags and 3 carry-ons!:scared: I really wanted to pack light, but I just couldnít bring myself to do it. All 3 of us over-packed as usual. We usually change 2 to 3 times every day on a cruise and of course, DD and I need shoes for every evening!:rotfl2: I also bring way too may incidentals like an exorbitant amount of toiletries, OTC meds, and a myriad of other useless items. I am the queen of over-packing.

There was no line at the terminal, so we got through security very quickly and received boarding pass #3. We checked in and noticed quite a few lime green shirts and wrist bands!:banana: It was so much fun to meet some of our DIS friends before we boarded! By noon, we were embarking on our Wonderful cruise.:cheer2: We went directly to Parrot Cay for a terrific lunch. We wandered around for awhile and hung out in Diversions. DH & DD had fun playing chess while I took some TR notes.

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m...7/IMG_0453.jpg

At 1:30 it was time to see our stateroom. We were on deck 7 starboard, aft in SR #7620. It was a great room. It was a former category 6 that that is now a category 7 since the verandah is partially obstructed. It was a great location and the obstruction is minimal. Our stateroom host was Winston.

When we arrived in our stateroom, we found gifts from The Perfect Gift. (Thanks Shirley!) We sent DD a mesh beach bag filled with goodies and a towel. She loved it, especially the Pooh towel. Our friends sent me a great smiley face flower arrangement for my 50th birthday. We also found our Castaway Club gifts. There were 2 different mesh bags, two plastic cups, a pad, hand wipes and CC flags, all in a CC tote bag.

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m...7/IMG_0454.jpg http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m...7/IMG_0456.jpg

I couldnít wait to decorate our stateroom door. I had made two signs and had the Great Thinkers Mickey Head, as well as some magnets from CC and DVC. Thanks to KristineN from these boards, I used one of her designs and it looked great. Here is our door.

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m...7/IMG_0517.jpg

Our friends boarded at about 1:30 so we went to see them in their SR on deck 8. This was their first DCL cruise and they loved it. Their oldest DD - BFF is my DDís best friend, so they had a great time together. Their middle DD - BFFS1 (16) had a great time also and spent most of her time either with the older girls or with her new friends in Aloft. They also have a 5 year old DD - BFFDS2. She didnít spend much time in the kids club, but she had tons of fun in the Mickey pool.

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m...7/IMG_0497.jpg

DH, BFFM and I toured the Spa. It was wonderful. DH had no interest in the spa at all; he just wanted to see the workout facilities. Now, this is something I just donít get. If you are on vacation, why would you want to work out?:confused3 I hate to work out at home, why on earth would I subject myself to that torture on my vacation? He signed up for a spinning class for the next morning and was looking forward to spending time up there. So were BFFM & BFFD. Oh well, not my cup of tea. I, on the other hand booked a Ladies Morning special for Castaway Cay day.:goodvibes I was really looking forward to that! It included a facial, back massage, foot massage and scalp massage. It also included time in the Rainforest Room, champagne and treats. Heaven!!! :cloud9:

It was now 3 PM, time for our DIS meet!:woohoo: I was so excited to meet everyone. We met in the Promenade Lounge and had a nice sized crowd. It felt as if I already knew everyone since we spent so much time chatting online. It was fun to put faces to names. I made name tags for everyone so it was easy to spot each other. BFFDM took a group pic for us. Unfortunately, some people had already left, so if you arenít in the photo, Iím really sorry. We were also missing a few families. I hope you all made it onboard. Since the weather was lousy, there were cancelled flights. I know some of our group were flying out that morning.

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m...7/DISgroup.jpg

Next up: How Can You Be Bored?!?

jrose529 04-23-2007 11:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by haywardranch (Post 18295270)
Hi Judy,

Looking forward to reading your trip report!!! Thank you so much for getting everyone together, you did a great job and we proudly displayed our Great Thinkers magnet on our door. It was a pleasure to meet you.:hippie:

Hi Lynne,

It was wonderful meeting you and your family. How was the rest of your trip? We had a great time!

smeck 04-23-2007 11:40 AM

Great job so far Judy it's fun reliving the cruise through your trip report. Oh by the way I"m still practicing drawing Mickey not any better I"m afraid.

haywardranch 04-23-2007 11:47 AM

We had a great time too! My daughter's actually cried when we had to leave. We are definitely going to do a 7 day the next time. I know most others had late seating for dinner, that was our only draw back, 2 years ago we had early seating and at that time it worked (the girls were 7), this time not so much. We were a bit rushed but our servers Vanessa and Palo were EXCELLENT! A couple of our shore excursions were canceled due to wind, but even that didn't make too much difference. We just wandered around Nassau for bit and then had the whole day on the ship which was really fun.

How were the crowds at WDW? We are contemplating doing the world next April vacation but I am a little weary about it.

Looking forward to the rest of your report!! Great so far!! It is also good to know that 18 year olds will still like the cruise and have fun as I plan to keep going!!:banana:

spoon2003 04-23-2007 12:03 PM

Wow
 
TR already posted, I'm impressed :thumbsup2 I'm still doing laundry :sad1:

Judy,
Thank you for organizing the meet, it was great fun meeting everyone!! I'm reliving the cruise through your TR. That was definitely the highlight of our vacation, WDW paled in comparison :rotfl:


Sue

skiingwife 04-23-2007 12:25 PM

Hi Judy,
I'm going to be in 7620 in October. Glad to hear you liked the room. Did you find that the obstructed verandah was really not that obstructed? What kind of condition was the room in (carpet, bedding, etc.) Enjoying your trip report!

lunsusie 04-23-2007 02:31 PM

Great trip report! Thanks for sharing with us.

CapnJackGroupie 04-23-2007 02:54 PM

Great TR so far!!!popcorn:: popcorn:: popcorn::

jrose529 04-23-2007 02:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spoon2003 (Post 18296439)
TR already posted, I'm impressed :thumbsup2 I'm still doing laundry :sad1:

Judy,
Thank you for organizing the meet, it was great fun meeting everyone!! I'm reliving the cruise through your TR. That was definitely the highlight of our vacation, WDW paled in comparison :rotfl:


Sue

I stayed up typing last night until 3 AM! I still have more to go. We came home to a flooded basement, so I'm just getting to my laundry now. I still have to unpack.

It was so great to meet all of you. The cruise was so much fun and very relaxing.


Quote:

I'm going to be in 7620 in October. Glad to hear you liked the room. Did you find that the obstructed verandah was really not that obstructed? What kind of condition was the room in (carpet, bedding, etc.) Enjoying your trip report!
The cabin was great and in wonderful condition! The obstruction was really minimal and wasn't a problem. I'd stay in that cabin agian. I'm working on uploading my pics to Photobucket, so I'll post a verandah shot soon.

Here are two pics. They aren't very good, but right now, they are all I could find.

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m...2_edited-1.jpg http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m...7/IMG_0461.jpg

jrose529 04-23-2007 03:14 PM

I'm so glad there are people reading this TR. I had visions of being all alone here! Thanks for all your kind words. Now on to the next part.

Chapter 4: How Can You Be Bored?!?

Our cast of characters:

Me Ė Judy
DH Ė Steve
DD Ė Amy (18)
DDBFF - DDís best friend Katie (18)
BFFM - best friendís mother Chris
BFFD - best friendís dad Mark
BFFS1 - best friendís 16 year old sister Lauren
BFFS2 - best friendís 5 year old sister Erin


The first nightís show in the Walt Disney Theater was Michael Harrison. He was a ventriloquist and was really funny. We had as much fun watching our friendís 5 year old daughterís reaction to the show. She was sad for the tennis ball when he was complaining about being hit by famous tennis players and was very upset that everyone was laughing! :rotfl2:

We had the 8:15 dinner seating and our rotation was APPT. Our servers were Corrine from France and Brent from Trinidad and Tobago.

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m...7/IMG_0481.jpg

They were fabulous and we had a great time with them! The kids were thrilled with Brentís magic tricks and loved Animators Pallatte. I had a stuffed tomato, Caesar Salad, delicious cannelloni and Peanut Butter Pie for dessert! Yummy!!! I was stuffed, but it was all wonderful.:thumbsup2

We tried to go to the Cadillac Lounge to listen to Darryl Lockhart after dinner. We loved listening to him every night on our Magic cruise, but the lounge was too smokey this time.:sad2: We complained about that on our comment card. We only got to see him for short periods of time because of the smoke. He is so good; he should be in a smoke-free environment so more people can enjoy his music. When we talked to him about it, he said he would rather not be in a smoking lounge. It isnít good for his voice, but that is where he is most evenings. I was disappointed that we couldnít spend more time listening to him. The people smoking at the bar were talking loudly and not paying attention at all, and the rest of the lounge was empty. That was a waste of a talented man.:confused3

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m...7/IMG_0450.jpg

After leaving the Cadillac Lounge, we went to see Wild Hogs in the theater. DH was looking forward to seeing it, but we both agreed that we were glad we didnít pay $9.50 a ticket. It wasnít very good.

We got back to the cabin at 1 AM and DD returned soon after. I was surprised since I didnít expect her before 2 AM. She was tired and bored.:confused3 :eek: Oh no, I didnít want to hear that! :scared: We went on this cruise because she begged us. If she wasnít having a good time, why were we there? No one showed up at the College Meet & Greet and the kids in Aloft were sitting around not speaking.:crazy2: Since she and her friend were just 18 and still in high school, they pretty much had free reign of the ship. They could go into all the adult areas and were still welcome in Aloft. They should have been thrilled, not bored! I went to sleep confused and worried that she was too old for Mickey!:confused: Actually, I tried to sleep with all the rocking and rolling. Remember I mentioned that it was windy when we went to the port? Well, the wind didnít die down all night.

Next up: Chills & Thrills in Nassau and Can DD find anything to do?


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